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The Sky is the Limit for PATHS Graduates

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- No caps and gowns at this graduation at the Paul Engle Center in Wellington Heights. No pomp or circumstance. Just real emotion.

For 19 year old Dayzary Jones, its the culmination of a future fully realized.

Some opportunities you don't get to take, Jones said. This is one, and I took it, and completed it.

She's among the first graduates of the PATHS program, a program geared at new beginnings. It was started after a generous donation by an anonymous donor. The goal is to provide an opportunity for unemployed and underemployed residents to gain experience and increase their earning potential.

I actually enjoyed it, I learned new things I've never experienced before, Jones said.

Each PATHS participant interned around the city for 10 weeks, and left with the skills and resume building experience to continue that push to the top.

For Nina Woods the journey to this day wasn't easy, as she's struggled to find housing and employment ever since moving to the area last year.

I was at that point where I was like I'm tired, fed up, wanted to give up, Woods said.

She enrolled with the program and decided to reach for her goals, while raising a full house

We have a total of 12 children, and we also have 3 grandbabies, so it is very difficult

But for her 15 kids just meant 15 times the encouragement

They tell me don't give up, keep going, Woods said.

Now Woods and her classmates have renewed goals, knowing that now the sky is the limit.

Many of Friday's graduates didn't waste any time. Several of them plan on continuing their education at Kirkwood community college, and 7 of the 14 students already have jobs lined up.
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